One Spin One Win

Within minutes of writing about how poorly the Prius is selling in the US, the article from also goes on to say how well the Prius and Toyota are doing in Japan . . .

However, while Toyota may be enjoying mainstream success in Japan, it is continuing to struggle in the US, where the company has been hit by the slump affecting the entire auto industry.

I came across this story that says Toyota’s sales for May were down 25% in Japan. Is this the new definition of success?

May 28, 2009, Toyota Motor Corp’s sales in Japan so far in May are down roughly 25 percent from the same period last year, President Katsuaki Watanabe said on Thursday.

As a consumer of news, when one source says sales are good, and the other one says sales are bad, it makes one question not only the value of the news out there but the level of trust in the source.

Naturally you have to consider the source. In this case,  between a green website and Reuters, I don’t know about you but I’m not feeling very trustworthy of either. The value of it is right up there with playing the wheels on the boardwalk. Put down your quarter dollar and spin the wheel. Then leave with a plastic toy made in China.

Prius US Sales Down 45 Percent

It’s fair to say that auto sales of any brand is down, and down significantly and for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is government intervention. Current economic conditions aside, the Prius and vehicles like it are not what the market demands. And for whatever demand there is, there is no demand to eliminate the SUV and American cars as we know them. That demand is coming from Washington, not the market.

Despite claims that Americans turning their backs on gas-guzzlers have contributed to the present dire straits faced by GM and others, Toyota’s latest sales figures point to a stagnant market for more efficient Japanese models as well.

Sales of the Prius in the US were down from 15,011 in May 2008 to just 10,091 for the same month this year. For the year to date, sales of the Prius in the US stand at 42,753 compared to 79,675 in 2008 – a drop of more than 45 per cent.

Markets don’t respond well to political direction. Markets are self-correcting when ‘allowed.’  That is to say, when they are not interfered with.  Above everything else, markets don’t do well in an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. In light of the power grab the Obama administration has perpetrated over various industries and companies within his first 100 days, the only message Barack Obama is sending to business is watch out, you could be next.

'Green' Transport Not All That Green

Here’s an interesting bit of information about how environmentally-green mass-transportation is not simply ‘green’ by default. Written not by politicians, but by scientists, which probably qualifies them as card carrying extremists.

Its authors point out an array of factors that are often unknown to the public. These are hidden or displaced emissions that ramp up the simple “tailpipe” tally, which is based on how much carbon is spewed out by the fossil fuels used to make a trip.

Environmental engineers Mikhail Chester and Arpad Horvath at the University of California at Davis say that when these costs are included, a more complex and challenging picture emerges.

In some circumstances, for instance, it could be more eco-friendly to drive into a city — even in an SUV, the bete noire of green groups — rather than take a suburban train. It depends on seat occupancy and the underlying carbon cost of the mode of transport.

Which reminds me of a related subject, biofuels. Did you know that it is greener to burn our fossil fuels than to produce and burn biofuels?

links: Think twice about ‘green’ transport, say scientists | Fossil Fuels Out-Green Biofuels

European Union Moves 'Center-Right'

The European Union held parliamentary elections over the weekend and the results indicate a rejection of socialism as they see it and of left-leaning parties in most member nations.

Conservatives raced toward victory in some of Europe’s largest economies Sunday as initial results and exit polls showed voters punishing left-leaning parties in European parliament elections in France, Germany and elsewhere.

Right-leaning governments were ahead of the opposition in Germany, France, Italy and Belgium, while conservative opposition parties were leading in Britain and Spain.

First projections by the European Union showed center-right parties would have the most seats – between 263 and 273 – in the 736-member parliament. Center-left parties were expected to get between 155 to 165 seats.

The EU seems to get it. They’ve seen it all before. Even more reason for the Obama administration to keep his socialist plans on the fast track. Before most Americans figure him out and what he is doing. The US media are not talking.

You can kind of tell when a media outlet doesn’t like what they’re seeing. Look how the left-leaning describes the victories. They get very creative in adjectives for the winners.  Extremists, far-right, fringe parties, anti-immigrant, anti-Islamic immigrant party, anti-gipsy extremist, ultra-nationalist. See any bias there?

Far-Right parties and extremists made gains across Europe this weekend as protest votes and low turnouts marked the European parliament elections.

Support for centre-Left parties and governments crashed across the EU as fringe parties, not the Socialists, picked up protest votes while the centre-Right weathered the storm.

Anti-immigrant and far-right groups made significant gains in the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Denmark, Slovakia and Finland.

In Slovakia a low turnout of just 19.4 per cent propelled an anti-gipsy extremist ultra-nationalist into the parliament and Hungary’s far-Right Jobbik took three seats for the first time.

In France, Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-Right UMP group was the big winner, with 28 per cent of the vote, as the opposition Socialists suffered serious losses, plunging the already weak party into further disarray.

Can hardly wait to hear David Axelrod’s spin on the election results. It is the writing on his wall.